inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from
home or from those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced
by three (or more) of the following
distress when separation from home or major attachment figures
occurs or is anticipated.
Persistent and excessive
worry about losing, or possible harm befalling, major attachment
Persistent and excessive
worry that an unexpected event will lead to separation from a
major attachment figure (e.g. getting lost or being kidnapped).
or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because of fear of separation.
excessively fearful or reluctant to be alone or without major
attachment figures at home or without significant adults in other
or refusal to go to sleep without being near a major attachment
figure or to sleep away from home.
involving the theme of separation.
of physical symptoms, headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting,
when separated from major attachment figures occurs, or is anticipated.
The duration of the disturbance is at least 4 weeks.
causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social,
academic (occupational), or other important areas of functioning.
does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental
or other Psychotic Disorder and, in adolescents and adults, is
not better accounted for by Panic
Disorder With Agoraphobia.
or Sexual Dysfunction
Anxious or Fearful or Dependent
have similar or even the same symptom. The clinician, therefore,
in his diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate against the following
disorders which he needs to rule out to establish a precise diagnosis.
other Psychotic Disorders;
Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia;
Agoraphobia Without History
of Panic Disorder;
Developmentally appropriate levels of separation anxiety.
develop and become more aware and interactive with their environment,
they experience various emotions. Trust, safety, and comfort depend
on familiarity and consistency. From 8 to 14 months, many children
experience fear when they are denied familiar and safe situations.
They recognize their parents as familiar and safe and when separated
from parents, they may feel threatened and unsafe. Separation
anxiety is a normal development stage that usually decreases around
2 years old when toddlers begin to understand that parents may
be out of sight but will return.
children have successfully mastered this developmental stage,
separation anxiety may return during periods of stress . Most
children will experience some degree of separation anxiety when
in unfamiliar situations such as a stay in hospital, when experiencing
stress's. It is therefore natural for them to seek the safety,
comfort, and protection of their parents. When parents cannot
be with their children in these situations, the child experiences
It is helpful
for a parent to be with children during stressful occasions such
as during medical examinations or treatments. When a parent cannot
accompany the child, prior experience or exposure to the situation
is helpful. If this is not possible, the child may display severe
anxiety by crying, resisting, begging, screaming. It is always
desirable to explain the situation and experience to the child
and to assure them.